Cisco adds services, hardware to better support industrial IoT

Cisco has added new visibility and security software to its cloud-based dashboard for managing configuration and applications for IoT devices in industrial settings.

The company has upgraded its IoT Operations Dashboard with Cisco Cyber Vision, software that automatically builds a detailed inventory of all operational technology (OT) devices and identifies vulnerabilities.

Cyber Vision can share its inventories with SecureX, Cisco’s enterprise Extended Detection and Response (XDR) platform to provide a combined inventory of both IT and OT assets, and that can make threat investigations easier and build remediation workflows, according to Vikas Butaney, Cisco’s senior vice president and general manager of cloud connectivity and industrial IOT networking.

Cyber Vision can provide a vulnerability threat score, determine which threats are being exploited, and prioritize the order to address them in, Butaney said. The threat assessment and prioritization of remediation are amont the technology that Cisco acquired when it bought security risk-management firm Kenna in 2021.

Cyber Vision also provides a common toolset that IT and OT teams can both use to work more efficiently together to reduce infrastructure downtime, Butaney said. Cyber Vision is in beta now.

The IoT Operations Dashboard complements Cisco IoT Control Center for managing IoT devices connected via cellular networks. “The IoT environment is broad, and the use cases require different capabilities for provisioning and management,” Butaney said.

Cisco has added another new service called Secure Equipment Access Plus for remotely deploying, maintaining, and troubleshooting hardware connected to Cisco industrial routers. “From a web-based interface on a browser, customers can get access to a machine and do a software upgrade or a change without having to go on to the site, saving time and money,” Butaney said. Secure Equipment Access Plus is available now.

New Catalyst switches

Cisco has expanded its ruggedized Catalyst switch portfolio with a family of boxes aimed at fitting in tight spaces. Catalyst IE3100 gigabit Ethernet switches are small and fully managed, for connecting to robots, controllers, and other industrial devices. Like all Catalyst switches, they run the IOS-XE operating system and are managed by Cisco DNA Center. They will be available in March.

The company has also added a Catalyst-based rugged wireless client, a hardware devices that attaches to vehicles, autonomous robots and other assets that can move. The IW9165 can provide location services and power devices on and off. It can also connect to standard Wi-Fi networks or participate in Cisco Ultra-Reliable Wireless Backhaul. URWB is wireless technology that Cisco describes as providing high availability, low latency, and zero packet loss with seamless handoffs over unlicensed wireless spectrum. It’s meant to connect moving assets or extend networks where running fiber isn’t feasible.

“More automation is happening in the factories and distribution centers and warehouses, and now we have a client that you can put in your robot or in your machine to communicate reliably in those environments,” Butaney said. IW9165 is available in April.

Another new device, Catalyst IW9165D Heavy Duty Access Point, provides Wi-Fi backhaul with a built-in directional antenna when fiber or cellular is not an option. External antennas can be added to support fixed and mobile use cases simultaneously, the company said.

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